Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

Read John 12:1-8.

At Bethany a feast was prepared to celebrate the victory over death.  Mary put some costly perfume on the feet of Jesus to show her love for Him.  Judas at this time showed that he was not a true disciple of Jesus.  He said the perfume should have been sold and the money put into the money bag that he kept for all the disciples.

He said that this would be used to feed the poor, but the truth was that he was a thief and wanted the money for himself.

The Plot Against Lazarus

Read John 12:9-11.

Many people came to see Lazarus when they heard that he had been raised from the dead.  Through this miracle, many people believed in Jesus.

Satan, the devil, is God’s enemy and he stirs people to fight against God.  He stirred the religious leaders up to fight against Jesus.  They wanted to destroy Lazarus because he was living proof that Jesus really was the resurrection and the life.  Many people believed in Jesus because of his testimony.  Satan still wants to destroy those who tell others about Jesus’ power.

The Triumphant Entry Into Jerusalem

Read John 12:12-19.

It was the time of the Passover, a yearly feast to remind the people how God had saved them from slavery and from death.  Many people went to Jerusalem at this time, as the center of worship for God’s people was there.
Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover.  The people waved palm branches before Him as He rode into town on a young donkey.  They did this to honor Him as their Messiah and king.  Some of them called Him King of Israel.  Afterwards, when Jesus was arrested, His enemies used this against Him.  They accused Him of trying to be king.

Today we should all look at Jesus as our king – not an earthly or political king, but the king of our own lives.  A king is a ruler, and Jesus must rule our lives.  And so we always try to do what He wants us to do.  One of the things that brings shame upon the church today is that many members go to the services in their church, but outside the church they never try to do what Jesus taught.  Jesus must be king of our lives wherever we are: in school, in the market, at the job, everywhere.

Some Greeks Seek Jesus

Read John 12:20-26.

Some Greeks also went to see Jesus.  Jesus knew that in a few days He would be crucified, nailed to a cross like a criminal. But because of His death, not only Greeks but persons from every country would be saved.  They would have Him as their king forever.  This was worth dying for.  He would be like the grain of wheat that gives up its life to produce many more grains.

“A grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies.  If it does die, then it produces many grains” (John 12:24-25).

Jesus said that we must follow Him.  We must be willing to give up our lives for His sake so that others may receive Him and be saved.

Jesus Speaks About His Death

Read John 12:27-36.

How would you feel if you knew that within a few hours you were going to be put to death for crimes that you had not done?

How would you pray?  This was Jesus’ experience.  He wanted o pray for God to save Him from such suffering.  But He knew that He had come from heaven to earth and had become a man for this very purpose.  He was going to die for the sins of the whole world – for your sins and mine.  So He prayed: “O Father, bring glory to your name!”

At Jesus’ death sin was judged.  Satan was judged.  And your sins were judged.  Jesus took your sins and the judgment for your sins upon Himself.  Yet it is true that if you do not accept what He did for you, you will have to stand before God in judgment yourself and be punished for your sins.

Suppose you owed a great debt but someone paid it for you.  How foolish it would be for you to try to pay it again!  Jesus paid a great debt for you when He died for your sins.  But to get the benefit of His payment you must accept Him as Savior and Lord.

The Unbelief of the Jews

Read John 12:37-43.

Many of the people did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah because He didn’t fit their ideas of what the Messiah would do.  But even their unbelief fit right into the picture that the prophet Isaiah had given of the Messiah.

Many of the leaders saw that Jesus was the Messiah but were afraid to accept Him because of what the others would do to them.  Many persons today are afraid to become Christians for the same reason.  Some are secret believers.

“They loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God” (John 12:43).

Judgment by Jesus' Word

Read John 12:44-50.

The very words that they refused to listen to would be the words by which they would be judged at the last judgment. Whoever believes Jesus’ words and does what He tells them to do will be all right.  The ones who don’t believe what Jesus has said will not have eternal life.

Take the quiz

Quiz Instructions

Now answer a few questions covering what you just read.

1. What happened at dinner when they were celebrating the miracle?

a) Judas stole some money from the bag that belonged to the disciples.

b) Mary anointed Jesus’ feet and Judas said the perfume should have been sold.

c) Judas showed he was not a true disciple by not going to the feast at all.

2. Why did the religious leaders decide to kill Lazarus?

a) Because many people believed on Jesus through Lazarus’ testimony.

b) Because Lazarus lived in Bethany.

c) Because Lazarus had broken the law.

3. What was the Passover?

a) It was a feast to remind people how God had saved them from slavery.

b) It was a time when persons who lived far away passed over to Jerusalem to hold a political congress.

c) It was a time when people celebrated the birth of the baby Jesus.

4. What happened when Jesus went to Jerusalem at this time?

a) He taught people the meaning of the Passover.

b) He rode on a young donkey to visit his friends.

c) People welcomed Him and called Him King of Israel.

5. How should Jesus be king today?

a) He should be king of the country where we live.

b) He should be king of our lives and rule our lives.

c) He should be king in the church but not outside.

6. Read John 12:24 and fill in the blanks. "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—__________.

a) a plentiful harvest of new lives

b) and much fruit

c) that will grow

7. What did Jesus do about sin when He died?

a) He took all sin upon Himself and all people are free from sin.

b) He took people’s sin upon Himself but they will have to be punished for sin anyway.

c) He took sin upon Himself, but only those who believe in Him will be free from punishment for sin.

9. Read John 12:43 and fill in the blanks. "For they loved human praise more than __________.

a) anything

b) the praise of God

c) money

10. By what will people be judged at the last judgment?

a) They will be judged by Jesus’ words.

b) They will be judged by the laws of the country where they live.

c) They will be judged by the Ten Commandments.

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